How to Increase Collaboration Through Inclusive Leadership


How often have you come across another employee who is reluctant to share knowledge, resources, or work as part of a team? We find that often this lack of collaboration is due to fear of a perceived threat to the individual’s role security.

Building collaborative teams in your organisation requires the skills of inclusive leadership. But how can you set your business up to collaborate effectively? We’ve got some simple solutions to get you started.

Get closer – Working in silos and a lack of sharing information, or knowledge with other departments in the business is a sure way to kill collaboration. Ask yourself if your organisation is setup to share knowledge? This might be as simple as a desk reshuffle or making your office more open-plan – research from the University of Michigan has shown that there are real benefits to working in close proximity to colleagues. “Researchers who occupy the same building are 33 percent more likely to form new collaborations than researchers who occupy different buildings”.

Look at your tools – You should also ensure you have suitable tools to allow employees to communicate and share information. We all know the benefits of an intranet: reduced email noise, consolidated hub for key information, better version control. But is your intranet platform being used to its full potential, or is it outdated and in need of a refresh?

Having said this, a fancy new intranet isn’t going to solve everything, collaborating effectively requires a change in attitude and behaviour and this needs to come from you and other leaders in your organisation. Also be mindful of the fact that everyone is different, and what works for one person might not for another in terms of communication.

Keep staff posted – Do you keep your staff updated regularly with what’s going on elsewhere in the business? This might be in the form of a simple internal newsletter for larger organisations, or a more agile approach with daily ‘huddles’.

Simply by setting up a social committee, you can empower your employees to interact how they want and develop relationships – which all contributes towards working collaboratively. Take your employees out for a coffee and watch how much more efficiently your team works when you’re getting to know each other.

Get others on board – One leader having a smart inclusive collaboration plan is a great start but it’s not enough to go it alone. Guide your colleagues and team through a shared vision and get others to buy in.

Have a diverse mindset – “Our differences are our strengths” this is the emberin strap-line and we strongly believe a diverse workforce gets the best results. Utilise a diverse mix of skills and talent and you’ll be surprised at the results. Leaders today must be able to harness ideas, people, and resources from a diverse mix of skill sets and backgrounds.

Inclusive leadership is all about assuming trust rather than distrust. You need to have confidence that your team has reliability, integrity and honesty. We call this loosening control without losing control.

If you want to find out about how we can help improve collaboration through inclusive leadership within your organisation, read about our Courage: Inclusive Leadership in Action program or get in touch with us today on +61 1800 306 698 or email us on

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